PETERSBURG, Va. -- Someone painted racial slurs and other hateful messages on fences surrounding new construction in the Blandford neighborhood of Petersburg.
“When I saw it, I was in awe. I was like. . . what?!” pastor Belinda Baugh said when she saw photos of the graffiti circulating on social media. “We don’t want that wickedness coming here.”
Baugh said racist acts like these should not be ignored and they should be renounced by neighbors.
“You’re not going to speak that kind of hate, you’re not going to cause division in our community. I don’t care who it is and who it was; you will be found because we’re not going to tolerate it, and I’m not just talking about the African American culture. I’m talking about we as a city," she said. “[Neighbors] feel confident to know somebody is paying attention to it, that’s it’s being acknowledged, and something is going to be done about it. So I think it gave them relief that it’s not going to be swept under the rug.”
While Petersburg Police investigators work with property owners to figure out exactly when the graffiti was written and who might have done it, Pastor Baugh has some ideas.
“Some kind of stupid, low-life person who has nothing to do with their time but to try to stir up trouble," she said. "This is not who we are in the City of Petersburg.”
Property owners first noticed the hateful messages in August and reported it to police.
This is a developing story, so anyone with more information can email email@example.com to send a tip.